Portland ME Waterfront Event recap

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in an event to raise awareness about Crohn’s Disease and Colitis. These diseases aren’t something that most people like to talk about, but when it affects you or someone in your family, you find yourself discussing poop and bowels a lot.

Payson Park in Portland is a great little place surrounded by baseball fields, tennis courts and lots of space to sit and relax under a tree or in the sun. My sister and I raised money for a team in my daughter’s honor and had set out in the early afternoon. We took our time going down, and drove around just a bit to get a feel for the layout. I was amazed at how beautiful it is along the waterfront. The views were wonderful and you couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. Bright blue skies, and a nice breeze so there weren’t any flies.

Since we arrived early we offered to help set up, since some of the volunteers that were supposed to be there hadn’t shown up. We were quickly put to work setting out T-shirts, and my sister ended up checking people in at registration. I wandered around and talked with a lot of folks, and got to listen to some amazing stories of courage.  It seems the most common question is “What are you on for meds?”.

Many of the teams wore matching shirts, and it was a challenge to try to figure out who the “affected person” was in the bunch. I spent a lot of time looking at people’s footwear… hahaha… I am so into this running thing that I wanted to see just what the other runners were wearing. Saw many different brands, and even someone else in their VFF’s like I was.

Some people brought their dogs along. Big dogs, small dogs, and all were well behaved! 
By the time 5pm rolled around, there were TONS of people milling about. I have no idea how many, but all you could see was a wall of people every where you looked. I positioned myself in the front, as I wanted to run this, and didn’t want to have to dodge the people as I went. I let the faster runners go ahead and I went on my way, armed with my water-bottle, phone and camera. This was not an event where I was going for a PR (personal record) and I was more interested in the people and their stories.

Here is a pic of a group of runners ahead of me. You’ll notice the path that we were running on. I had never run on anything but asphalt and a running track before this. I had originally wanted to do this event in my Vibrams, but after spending the afternoon standing alot and seeing what the path looked like, I went back to the car to change into my Saucony Kinvara 2’s. I knew better than to take the chance of getting half way around and having my ankle start acting up. I’m glad I did that, as I was able to push myself harder and enjoy the run alot more.

Along the way I caught up to these young ladies. The one in the middle has Crohn’s disease and her friends all made T-shirts to match hers. They were very sweet to pose when I asked to take their picture. 
At one point after we had just started I stopped to pull out my camera and turned around to get a picture of the crowd behind me. If you click on the image, you can see the crowd through the trees on the right. At that point I took off quickly as I wanted to stay ahead of them.
Here’s a picture along the backside of the bay. It was so beautiful. The tide had gone out and you could smell the seaweed, it was awesome. Coming from the western side of Maine makes me appreciate the ocean and its’ beauty so much more. 

I ran past a childrens play area on the backside. There were some little kids soccer games going on. Off to the side of that was a playground with all kinds of neat things for kidlets to play on. I noticed these 3 boys from the “Got Guts” team, and just had to snap a photo. They had ridden ahead on their bikes and were taking a break to play.
I went around to the front and told them to hold still so I could take their picture. The boy on the left was the honored guest for the event. He’s a very charming and bright 11 year old.
Now I am on the far side of the bay, and as I go along, I begin to see just how close to the Interstate highway I really am. Cars are flying by and it’s freaking me out a bit.
At this point my RunKeeper app tells me that I have gone 3 miles at a good pace. I figure with all the stopping I did to gawk at the scenery etc… I probably ran a bit faster than I usually do.  Now I’m going along and here I look through the fence only to see the guardrail of I-95 about 3 feet from me.  My mind started thinking how that guardrail and chain fence isn’t going to stop a car from making me into hamburger if it goes off the road.  I picked up may pace a bit.  lol
The last part of the run was back on the front side, where all the trees were. It felt great to be in the shade every once in a while. Lots of people were out walking, running and walking their dogs. What a great place to live.. I wish we had something this nice up here. I will say though that I much prefer running on a  road than a soft surface.  I guess I wouldn’t make much of a trail runner.
I finished the 3.62 mile loop in 54 mins. My average pace was 14:54. But as I said before, I stopped quite a bit along the way, so I’m satisfied that I probably ran a 14:00 mile. That is usually where my normal pace is.
Afterwards it was time to head back home, and of course we had to stop somewhere to eat. I wanted nothing but a big pile of chicken and fries, and that’s what I got. (And yes, I logged my weight watchers points!)

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Running Blogs.

This article was originally posted by Louise Cunningham on Runnersramblings.com.


2 responses to “Portland ME Waterfront Event recap”

  1. Jen says:

    Great job!!! I’m very impressed with your progress!

  2. What a great cause to race for! Great pictures and that food is making me hungry, now I must go find some chicken…lol, great job!